Here’s the thing; since the Ibrox club released their statement to the media the other day there has been dead silence from them and from Scottish football’s officialdom. The government seems pretty unconcerned about it all as well.
But they should be, because the whole way this thing has unravelled strongly suggests to me that there is a much bigger story out there. So let’s for a moment speculate, shall we?
Four days on and most of the Ibrox squad is on a plane for a match that the Lucky 31 Bet Calculator has them as underdogs for.
Let’s apply intelligence and what we know of past precedent to this.
Initial reports claimed that there were four players involved in this; Nathan Patterson and Calvin Bassey have been named as amongst them. That’s the first point where the antennae of any good journalist should be twitching like mad.
We are told that two of the four were youth players; curiously, that’s a category you could include both Bassey and Patterson in and not be lying. Furthermore, if those are the two most senior players involved in this, why not just name the four of them, issue them all with their punishments and move the story along? Why the epic secrecy over it?
Ibrox is doing an “internal investigation.”
Remember the days when they used to scorn those and all who were involved in them?
Seems now they are the done thing. It’s amazing that the Scottish Government, not to mention the football authorities, are content to let them away with that … what exactly is Celtic doing behind the scenes?
Sod all, as per usual, would be my guess. People inside our club have already said that the rules are interpreted too harshly in our case. You’d think the rules being ignored altogether somewhere else would be just as big a concern, especially when you consider who and in the context of this campaign where we’ve paid a high price from our mistakes.
So what’s really going on here? Why have Bassey and Patterson been made the example of?
Why throw two kids to the media and the internet frenzy?
Who exactly are the other Ibrox Two and why doesn’t anybody seem particularly concerned to find out?
The second curiosity, after the two players were named, is the speculation that none of them might have to self-isolate having tested negative. Since when was that the rule? When Bolingoli returned from his wee impromptu trip abroad he tested negative as well, but that didn’t stop the government throwing a fence around him and the whole club.
This was a major violation, a major potential exposure.
This is four members of the playing squad we’re talking about here; that’s no joke. That’s serious stuff. And if we are right to be suspicious there are also senior members of their squad involved.
Who exactly is writing these regulations if there is no isolation period?
Who exactly is watching over our game and its best interests here? This party was on Saturday night; even a full exposure to this bug doesn’t always register a positive until the fourth day. This was part of the rationale behind making so many Celtic players self-isolate in January in spite of negative tests.
How can anyone who was there be “cleared” and available for selection?
And there’s more, because Mark Dingwall, of the Ibrox website Follow Follow, has reported that instead of four players it was actually five … how did that transpire?
Well, let’s assume that the club is conducting its internal investigation.
Let’s further assume that they are the ones who discovered a fifth player was at the event.
And if there were five, why not more?
A Freedom of Information request to Police Scotland might disclose who was there and who was handed a fixed penalty notice; you have to assume that Player 5 wasn’t one of those people or his name would already have been known to the club.
Coincidentally, James Tavernier, their captain “limped out of training” yesterday and is going to be out for a while.
How long? An isolation period at least, you’d be forgiven for thinking.
And possibly for the length of whatever disciplinary sanction usually applies in these cases.
Speculation, yes, but this story gets more curious by the minute and there are a lot of stories out there about how Ibrox has been getting around the protocols.
It doesn’t actually take a lot of imagination to do it either.
Just a callous disregard for the rules, regulations and the health and safety of everyone around you and we know those things are of no consequence next to winning this title.